Florida Senate - 2017 SB 200 By Senator Passidomo 28-00071-17 2017200__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the temporary respite care of a 3 child; creating s. 409.1761, F.S.; defining terms; 4 authorizing certain organizations to establish 5 programs for the purpose of assisting parents and 6 legal guardians in providing temporary respite care 7 for a child; restricting care to specified children; 8 providing that placement of a child in temporary 9 respite care does not, in the absence of evidence to 10 the contrary, constitute abuse, neglect, or 11 abandonment or placement in foster care; authorizing 12 the Department of Children and Families to refer 13 children to such programs under certain circumstances; 14 providing requirements for an organization to register 15 with a qualified association; requiring collection and 16 retention of specified information; providing an 17 exemption from specified licensure requirements under 18 certain circumstances; requiring notification of 19 specified information to the department; providing 20 applicability; requiring background screening of 21 specified persons; providing exceptions; requiring 22 parents or legal guardians to enter into a contract 23 for care as a condition of participation in the 24 program; providing requirements for such contracts; 25 requiring a separate authorization for certain care; 26 providing an effective date. 27 28 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 29 30 Section 1. Section 409.1761, Florida Statutes, is created 31 to read: 32 409.1761 Organizations providing temporary respite care for 33 children not in the child welfare system.— 34 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 35 (a) “Qualified association” means an association that: 36 1. Publishes and requires compliance with its standards and 37 files copies thereof with the department as provided in s. 38 409.176(5)(b); and 39 2. Establishes, publishes, and requires compliance with 40 best practice standards for operating a program that assists 41 parents and legal guardians in providing temporary respite care 42 for a child by a volunteer respite family. 43 (b) “Qualified nonprofit organization” or “organization” 44 means a Florida private nonprofit organization that assists 45 parents and legal guardians in providing temporary respite care 46 for a child by a volunteer respite family under an agreement 47 with a qualified association. 48 (c) “Volunteer respite family” means an individual or a 49 family who voluntarily agrees to provide temporary care for a 50 child under a contract for care with the child’s parent or legal 51 guardian with the assistance of a qualified nonprofit 52 organization. 53 (2) QUALIFIED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.—A qualified nonprofit 54 organization may establish a program that assists parents and 55 legal guardians in providing temporary respite care for a child 56 by a volunteer respite family. Only a child who has not been 57 removed from the child’s parent or legal guardian due to abuse 58 or neglect and placed in the custody of the department is 59 eligible to be cared for under this section. Placement of a 60 child under this section, in the absence of evidence to the 61 contrary, does not constitute abuse, neglect, or abandonment as 62 these terms are defined in s. 39.01 and is not considered to be 63 placement of the child in foster care. However, the department 64 may refer a child to an organization’s program if the department 65 determines that the services are appropriate for addressing the 66 needs of a family in crisis, preventing the child from being 67 placed in the custody of the department, or achieving 68 reunification of the child with his or her biological family. 69 (a) Registration.—A qualified nonprofit organization that 70 provides temporary respite care to children under this section 71 shall annually register with a qualified association. 72 1. In order to register, the organization must provide each 73 year to the qualified association: 74 a. The name and address of the organization; the names and 75 addresses of the officers and the members of the board of 76 directors or other governing body of the organization, as 77 applicable; the name of the person in charge of the 78 organization; and proof that the organization and its volunteer 79 respite families are in compliance with the minimum health, 80 sanitary, and safety standards required by applicable state law 81 or local ordinance, the uniform firesafety standards required by 82 chapter 633, and the personnel screening requirements in s. 83 409.175 and chapter 435; and 84 b. The relevant data on the services provided by the 85 organization, including the organization’s capacity and the 86 number of approved volunteer respite families; the number and 87 ages of children being cared for through the organization, the 88 number of children who have left the care of the organization 89 during the past year, the length of stay of each child, and the 90 reason for each child’s care; and the names of all personnel. 91 2. Upon verification that all requirements for registration 92 have been met, the qualified association shall, without charge, 93 issue a certificate of registration valid for 1 year. 94 (b) Collection and retention of information and 95 documentation.— 96 1. An organization shall collect and maintain, at a 97 minimum, the following information and documentation for each 98 child to whom it provides temporary respite care: 99 a. The name and age of the child; 100 b. The name, address, and contact information for the 101 child’s parent or legal guardian; 102 c. The name, address, and contact information of the 103 child’s volunteer respite family; 104 d. A copy of the contract for care of the child executed 105 pursuant to subsection (3); and 106 e. Proof of the volunteer respite family’s compliance with 107 the personnel screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 108 435. 109 2. An organization shall maintain on site and provide, upon 110 request, proof that the organization is in compliance with 111 published minimum standards that are filed by the qualified 112 association with the department as provided in s. 409.176(5)(b). 113 The qualified association has the right to access and review the 114 organization’s files at any time to ensure compliance with this 115 section and the standards established by the qualified 116 association. 117 (c) Exemption from licensure.—The licensing provisions of 118 s. 409.175 do not apply to a qualified nonprofit organization 119 under this section. However, such organizations and their 120 volunteer respite families must meet the personnel screening 121 requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435. 122 (d) Notification requirements.—Any organization that is 123 registered with a qualified association shall immediately notify 124 the department if it has in its care a child with a serious 125 developmental disability or a physical, emotional, or mental 126 handicap for which the organization is not qualified or able to 127 provide care. 128 (e) Applicability.—The provisions of chapter 39 regarding 129 the reporting of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect apply to 130 any organization registered with a qualified association. 131 (f) Background screening.—A qualified nonprofit 132 organization shall conduct a screening, as that term is defined 133 in s. 409.175, of each individual identified in subparagraph 2. 134 1. The department shall maintain and, upon request, shall 135 provide proof of compliance of the personnel of the organization 136 and the members and household of the volunteer respite families 137 with the screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435. 138 2. Individuals required to be screened under this section 139 include: 140 a. An employee of the organization who assists parents or 141 legal guardians in providing respite care; 142 b. A member of the family that is providing respite care 143 for a child, or a person residing with the family, who is at 144 least 12 years of age. A person who is 12 years of age or older 145 but younger than 18 years of age must be screened for 146 delinquency records, but is not required to be fingerprinted; 147 and 148 c. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for 149 less than 10 hours per month, unless a person who meets the 150 screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435 is present 151 and has the volunteer in his or her line of sight at all times. 152 (3) CONTRACT FOR CARE.—A parent or legal guardian of a 153 child must enter into a written contract with the qualified 154 association for the provision of temporary respite care of the 155 child under this section. The contract must be executed before, 156 or at the time, the child is placed with a volunteer respite 157 family and organization. Through the contract for care, the 158 parent or legal guardian may delegate to the volunteer respite 159 family any of the powers regarding the care and custody of the 160 child, except the power to consent to the marriage or adoption 161 of the child, the performance or inducement of an abortion on 162 the child, or the termination of parental rights regarding the 163 child. The parent or legal guardian may revoke or withdraw the 164 contract for care at any time, and the child shall be returned 165 to the custody of the parent or legal guardian as soon as 166 reasonably possible. A contract for care executed under this 167 section expires automatically after 1 year and may not operate 168 to deprive a parent or legal guardian of any parental or legal 169 authority regarding the care and custody of the child or 170 supersede a court order regarding the care and custody of the 171 child. Each contract must: 172 1. Enumerate the basic services and accommodations provided 173 by the volunteer respite family and organization. 174 2. Identify the child, parent or legal guardian, and 175 volunteer respite family, including necessary contact 176 information for all parties. 177 3. Identify the organization, including the address, 178 telephone number, and primary point of contact. 179 4. Contain a clear statement regarding disciplinary 180 procedures. 181 5. State that the goal of the organization is to return the 182 child receiving respite care to the parent or legal guardian as 183 soon as the situation requiring the need for care has been 184 resolved. 185 6. Authorize the volunteer respite family to consent on 186 behalf of the parent or legal guardian to routine and emergency 187 medical care for the child. However, the volunteer respite 188 family shall immediately notify the parent or legal guardian of 189 medical care being provided to the child while the child is 190 under the care of the volunteer respite family. Such 191 authorization must be granted separately in the contract by the 192 parent or legal guardian. 193 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.